Senate leaders propose 11.5-cent gas tax increase

OLYMPIA — Senate leaders are proposing a $12.3 billion transportation revenue package that includes a gas tax increase of 11.5 cents.

The proposal was put forth by Senate Transportation Committee co-chairman Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, and is part of ongoing negotiations between the House and the Senate. It includes no tolls on I-90, pays for a new floating bridge on Highway 520 and puts money toward road projects across the state. It also seeks to redirect sales tax money from transportation projects to a transportation fund instead of the general fund, and transfers money out of an environmental cleanup account.

King says “we think it’s fair, we think it’s balanced.”

House Transportation Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, says there is some disagreement on transit and other issues, but she praised King’s effort, saying he’s “done a really good job.”

Key lawmakers met with the governor’s office on Wednesday and will meet again Friday.

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